One of the South African film industry's most anticipated events, the 5th North West Film Festival (NWFF), is taking place from the 14th to the 23rd September 2007 across the North West Province.
The theme of the festival is Ke Ya Rona (Setswana for "It is Ours") and its primary objective is to encourage people to take ownership of the industry either as active audiences or filmmakers. The Festival aims to 'edutain' using film as a medium.
The Festival takes place during Heritage month, and it will showcase films with a Proudly South African focus to celebrate the country’s heritage. These films include; From Nkoko with Love,(by Karen Slater), A Pair of Boots and a Bicycle, (by Vincent Moloi), I Mike what I Like, (by Jyoti Mistry's ), Baas van die Plaas, (by Rudi Steyn's) The House of Credo Mutwa (by Khulile Nxumalo) and Sekalli le Meokgo (byTeboho Mahlatsi).
In addition, over 60 local and international films comprising documentaries, shorts and feature films will be screened in Mafikeng, the capital of the North West Province. Other screenings will spread to the rest of Ngaka Modiri Molema, Bojanala, Bophirima and the Southern districts as part of the Festival’s community outreach project.
The programme offers an exciting range of films from the African continent. This slate features films from the Nigerian film industry – Nollywood as well as a taste of the best of Pan African Film Festival of Ougadougou, (Fespaco) - Africa's biggest festival.
The Festival will also pay homage to the father of African cinema Ousemane Sembene who passed away this year by screening his award winning film, Moolade. Well known Nigerian director Chico Ejiro, known as Mr. Prolific in Nollywood will introduce his film entitled 100 Days in the Jungle. The Festival will also hold an open discussion on the Nigerian film industry.
The festival has a second focus, which lends itself to films that celebrate the talent of young South African directors. These include Karabo Lediga (Black Sunday) and Lindiwe Nkutha (Joburg Rising),Khalo Matabane (Conversations on a Sunday Afternon), John Barker (Bunny Chow), Robin Kleindsmidt (Ongeriewe), Norman Maake (Soldiers of the Rock) and Omelga Mthiyane (Different Pigment).
With 2010 around the corner, the festival has prepared a football film programme to wet the appetites of soccer enthusiasts. The films to be screened are, Brass Boys. (by Kyle O'Donoghue) Zuma the Puma (Jon Bang Carlsen) is a story that gives us insight into Sibusiso Zuma's experience as a South African playing in Europe. Meanwhile, Soccer on Sundays: SOS, journeys into the world of refugee soccer players living in South Africa.
Zanele Muholi, a gender activist and renowned photographer will introduce a film called, Enraged By a Picture. This film speaks about gender and sexuality in a way that presents the platform for society to talk about such matters. This film, together with eight others, form part of the Out in Africa: Gay and Lesbian focus.
Apart from the film screenings, the Festival organiser anticipates a hive of film related activities and other events. The SABC, Women of the Sun and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) will hold a number of presentations with the aim to give the public insight into the film industry.
On the 20th September, festival goers are invited to attend a Steven Biko Memorial Lecture which will be presented by Mafikeng born Kgafela oa Magogodi, poet and academic, of I Mike what I Like, which is also showing on the Festival.
Says Joan Legalamitwa, curator of the NWFF; "We have a great line up of good quality films which will appeal to people across the board.! Ke Ya Rona!"
This Festival is supported by funders and partners: North West Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, National Film and Video Foundation, SABC, Mmabana Arts Foundation, Invest North West, Mafikeng Scene Scout Centre, Radio Broadcast Facilities North West, Out in Africa: Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Women of the Sun, INPUT, North West Department of Education.